On Wednesday October 21st, 2009 I couldn't imagine one person smiling in Praise all day long. On Thursday October 22, 2009 I didn't have to.
His skin, fair and frail... sensitive even. I was with friends at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City and he was there. His arms were thin; his watch crawled a third of the way up his arm.
His skin was so fair as to be red from his forearm down the sides to his palm and through the pinky finger. He wore bright white fingernails. I'd seen as much on an infant. I almost felt that he had only a short time ago been born.
He smiled as if he were woven into the basket of the arms of God, the womb of the groom. I guess I don't know his life story, I don't know if he's experienced anything. I imagine a man with arms stretched out that far has.
He was certainly not muscular; medium build I suppose...a small medium. He wasn't fat, not lanky...not anything except fair. His orange colored short sleeve shirt ran past his shoulder above his arms, arms marked not by muscle, but by sensitive skin. A weight lifter's shirt holds tight to the arm, fixed and sure.
I'd take him easy. Seriously, I'd break his arm if we arm wrestled. You see, I have strong arms, chiseled even. I can flex my pecs with the best of them. Lose a few more pounds and I've got a wash-board stomach.
Yet his arm lifted toward God. His hands gently swayed back and forth as if God held them and danced--as if God enjoyed the worship with his son. In fact I can say for sure God did.
His hands rose high on the pivot point called a shoulder for the better part of four hours--held in praise, held high like Moses himself holding Israel's enemies back. I don't know what enemy languished by this young man's prayers and praise.
On Wednesday I had a lifter's view of strength. On Thursday I knew much more strength's definition from God's dictionary. On Thursday I realized I understood little of might and muscled praise, excpt by the example of a fair skinned warrior in a loose orange shirt.
My shoulders hurt not far after five minutes.
He could take me to be sure. He broke me after five to seven minutes, beat me by four hours. I'd guess there's no way he'd harm me much though beyond his gentle and trustworthy example ... a slight but kind rebuke from a slight-bodied boy who's wash-board was found closer to the heart. He'd never hurt me. We're brothers, the bride of Christ. By his fruit, by his faith I knew him and his strength. I saw the ancient faith of Abraham in his mighty heart. I saw one who knew in whom he believed, like Timothy. I eavesdropped on one who would lead hosts of Christians, like Paul, simply by raising his hands for four or more blessed hours.
All that and he didn't look like much. Last in the gym, but by God, first where it really mattered.
I'll find him in heaven one day. Like with Paul and Peter, Elijah and others, I'll probably have a conversation with him, and I'll take notes.
Notes taken by a muscled follower from an interview with a fair warrior.